About Us

Our Mission is to preserve the biodiversity of the Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States. We accomplish our mission in three ways. The first is through conducting biological research to generate new knowledge about Southeastern ecosystems, with emphasis on the longleaf pine ecosystem and its embedded temporary wetlands. Second, CPI provides environmental education opportunities to the general public through field trips, classroom visits, festivals, lectures, website, and social media. Third, we acquire lands and directly manage or restore them back to native, natural habitat.

Our People

Ryan Means – President.  He holds a B.S. in zoology and a M.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, both from the University of Florida.   His scientific research has focused primarily on Southeast U.S. herpetofauna, ephemeral wetland ecology, as well as human-related impacts on both.  Currently Ryan is the principal investigator of a study entitled: “A Conservation Strategy for the Imperiled Striped Newt.”  This study is a unique salamander conservation effort that includes may partners united in a common goal to investigate cause of decline, develop effective conservation strategies, and repatriate an extirpated species back into its former geographic stronghold.  Ryan’s CV for more information.

Rebecca Means – Director.  Rebecca has a B.S. degree in both Wildlife Ecology and in Biology from Virginia Tech and an M.S. degree in Forestry from Texas A&M. She began working with CPI in August of 2001. Since that time she has been the principle or co-principle investigator on seven projects relating to ephemeral wetlands, amphibians, and science education.  Her current focus is on a program she developed entitled Building Communities that Conserve Wetlands.  This program combines state standards-aligned activities and citizen scientist training to conserve the biodiversity of temporary wetlands of Northern Florida.  She also is assisting with the striped newt repatriation project. See Rebecca’s CV for more information.

Board of Trustees

President – Ryan Means

Trustee – W. Wilson Baker

Trustee – Tom Ostertag

D. Bruce Means, Ph.D. – Founder and President Emeritus.  He also is a research ecologist, author, consultant, world traveler, and Adjunct Professor Biological Science at Florida State University.  His research includes a wide variety of topics ranging from ecosystems of the southeastern U. S. to fire ecology, the natural history of South American tepuis, biogeography, conservation, endangered species, and the evolution and natural history of amphibians and reptiles.  For more about D. Bruce Means, including contact info, click here.